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I’ve encountered a very interesting concept while reading “Gerontion” by T.S. Elliot.  That is a desensitization an individual feels when the understanding of knowledge sinks in.  More specifically, I am referring to lines 56-60.  They read, “I that was near your heart was removed therefrom/ To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition./ I have lost my passion: why should I need to keep it/ Since what is kept must be adulterated?/ I have lost my sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch.”  I interpret these lines to indicate the fear that the never-ending cycle of question and answer introduces.  For instance, “terror in inquisition” implies, by the tenses of the text, that he not only fears the process, but even more so.  The narrator fears the process to even begin.  This plays a heavy role in the desensitization of passion because the narrator questions the purpose of applying fervor to gathering knowledge when the knowledge granted is ultimately limited, his words being “adulterated.  The most interesting part in it, is in the second line I have listed above.  It reads, “To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition” (57).  This is significant to me because the texts seems to suggest that beauty is an enigma, and because the answer will not be given, the essence of beauty loses its luster.  Thus, introducing the idea that beauty is attractive because of its inability to be comprehended.  However because beauty cannot be comprehended, it becomes desensitized and loses all relevance and important.  In conclusion, as my interpretation of the text stands, beauty becomes both arbitrary and attractive for the same reasons.

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